Voer voor de Commissie-Davids die het onderzoek naar de Irak-besluitvorming doet: premier Blair was door de inlichtingendiensten gewaarschuwd dat Saddam Hussein geen directe dreiging vormde.
Intelligence experts explicitly warned Tony Blair’s aides that Britain was not in "imminent danger of attack" from Saddam Hussein, a confidential memo revealed today.
The row over claims that the Government "spun" its way into war with Iraq is likely to be reignited after the release of the document by the Cabinet Office.
The memo, released after a long-running Freedom of Information battle, shows Mr Blair’s officials knew seven years ago that the threat from Saddam was not immediate.
Despite the warning, the Government’s dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction included a claim that Baghdad was ready to launch an attack within "45 minutes".
Lord Hutton cleared the Government in 2004 of the charge that it tried to manipulate intelligence to pave the way for war.
But today Whitehall released a memo from former Cabinet Office defence expert Desmond Bowen, who later won promotion to policy director at the Ministry of Defence, which shows he disagreed Saddam posed an immediate threat.
The September 2002 memo, written to then Joint Intelligence Committee chairman John Scarlett and copied to Alastair Campbell, provides comments on an early draft of the government dossier on Iraq…
Memo that told Blair aides Saddam Hussein posed no imminent threat (Paul Waugh in ThisIsLondon)